I was talking with angrysparrow the other day via PM. I told him that I just bought a piece of gear from the For Sale section here on HF and I sold another piece of gear at the same time. He laughed and said it was like musical chairs for gear. That gave me an idea.....
How about a system where a HF member offer up a piece of gear like a hammock, under quilt, tarp, etc. Any piece of gear really, DIY or manufactured. Other members who would like to try out that particular piece of gear would sign up on a list. The first person on the list gets sent the item, we'll say a hammock for arguments sake. They use that hammock for a predetermined period of time, and they then send that hammock on to the next person on the list. And so on and so on. This whole thing would basically be hinged on the honor system, assuming that everyone will pass on the gear when their time comes. I have faith that the members here would have no problems (or I wouldn't have suggested this).
There would of course have to be set of rules, guidelines, stipulations, and/or minimum requirements. We would also need to develop a system of listing and tracking the gear that's available and a waiting list for each piece of gear.
Let's all put our heads together and see if we could put together some sort of system. Here are a few things I'm thinking about.
1. System is not free. Someone who gets loaned a piece of gear must pay the freight to the next person on the list. I'm thinking insured Priority Mail. No other fees except for the freight.
2. Have a time limit on trying out a piece of gear. I'm thinking you get it for 2-3 weeks and then you MUST pass it on to the next person. If there is no one else on the list waiting for that item you may keep the item longer, or return it to the owner.
3. You will be responsible for anything that gets loaned to you. If something gets damaged while in your possession, be it an act of God or personal fault, you must replace or pay for that item.
4. Loaned items are not for sale. It someone likes an item they must either buy it from the manufacturer or place a WTB ad in the forums.
5. The original owner may call the loaned gear back at any time, for any reason.